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Book Chain Project

Using the Framework to develop a mill assessment methodology 

The Book Chain Project (BCP) is a collaborative project run by Carnstone that includes 28 leading publishers, more than 500 print suppliers, and more than 400 paper manufacturers. It provides tools and guidance to help publishers source responsible fibre and achieve ethical supply chains in the publishing industry.  

In 2018, the BCP developed the Mill Assessment Framework (MAF), a methodology for consistent and rigorous assessment of pulp and paper mills’ forest sourcing. The BCP used the Accountability Framework as a key reference when developing the MAF, particularly the Operational Guidance on Monitoring and Verification and Supply Chain Management.  

The MAF examines a range of issues, including supply chain mapping and traceability, staff capabilities and training, awareness and management of risk for each sourcing origin, and supplier engagement. The methodology also includes the assessment of various human rights issues, including the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities, establishment of grievance mechanisms, health and safety of workers, worker benefits and well-being, and responsible recruitment.  

The BCP uses the MAF as a first step in a larger capacity-building process with the mills. When assessments are finalised, the mills use them to develop improvement plans. As of 2023, the BCP has used the MAF to guide on-site assessments of 25 mills across Asia and Europe. This has fostered a better understanding of how mills are managing their ethical supply chain risks, which has been used to develop capacity-building seminars and resources. It has also led to specific improvements in the mills that were assessed (for example using more robust third-party risk tools in due diligence).   

“The AFi set the bar for the level of accountability that environmental NGOs expect from forest product companies. This has helped make the case for a more detailed assessment of paper mills, through direct visits, in potentially high-risk areas.”  

– Neil Everett, Director, Carnstone 

Additional information can be found here: 

Book Chain Project
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